HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

she found a score for three voices on the Internet. I urgently need an alternative. Eternally grateful to those who manage some similar arrangement. Jig.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I really hate irish washerwoman

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

If you are going to be singing Irish jigs in an arrangement with three voices it won’t really matter which tune you choose, it isn’t going to sound much like Irish traditional music.

Have you heard Gerry Commane play the Washerwoman on the album "Two Gentlemen of Clare Music"? I found it inspirational, the feeling he puts into this simple and overused tune. An elderly man, his playing is faltering, but it doesn’t matter. And I like the arpeggios he puts in.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Wonder if the Irish Washerwoman knew she’d create this level of hatred and animosity towards her. If she had she might have decided not to write the tune at all

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

It’s a very old tune, possibly dating back to the 16th Century: http://www.ibiblio.org/fiddlers/IP_IZ.htm#IRISH_WASHERWOMAN
Many great players have played it. There’s a version with variations in the Leo Rowsome Collection of Irish Music that I have in front of me right now. It’s a rumbustuous, stagey sort of tune - maybe not one to be overused.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I think it’s great.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Ed Reavy wrote a pimped-up version of it too. If you could get your hands on that, maybe you could convince your teacher to use it?

Re: Great tune: Irish washerwoman.

The reason this tune, like so many others, is played so often is because it is wonderful tune. It can also be quite a challenging tune.
The name is off-putting. I have heard the tune called "The Irish Waterman," which I like much better.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

"Ed Reavy wrote a pimped-up version of it too. If you could get your hands on that, maybe you could convince your teacher to use it?"

That would be even worse, surely. Reavy presumably ‘pimped it up’ in such a way that suited his own fiddle style, so it would be all the more inappropriate for a ‘classical’ style arrangement.

I’d suggest something like Queen of the Fair https://thesession.org/tunes/772 (although I’m not sure about the setting in the sheetmusic - I’d go with JACKB’s alternate abc setting in the comments). It’s got plenty of interest in it, but spread out over three parts. The notes should be easily within the grasp of non-trad players - and, unlike The Washer, it’s not a tune that’s been played to death.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I love The Irish Washerwoman. One of the best tunes there is. A pal of mine - a piper - plays it quite often in sessions. After the initial surprise and murmuring around the room, people join in with gusto, and it’s great.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

The Fiddlers Companion article is, as usual, unchecked crap, and having it parroted by Wikipedia doesn’t make it any more believable.

Here is Dargason, which they say is the earliest form of the tune. Yeah, right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDRIIpOBiU4

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Point taken Creadur, but I wouldn’t like to hear any jig played in a classical setting if I could help it.

Queen of the Fair is a lovely jig. Would 3 parts be too long for what they’re doing though?

How about My Darling Asleep or something like that? Equally as easy as the Washerwoman, but not done to death.

I think Bernie has it right though. Probably not going to sound very traditional whichever way you slice it.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

The Fiddler’s Companion is a great read full of imaginative embellishments. When I want complete verisimilitude I will always of course refer to this site ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Its generally viewed as a beginers tune and It was a real surprise to find myself playing it the other day! The feckin banjo player started it, but I deserved it I suppose, because Id started |Drowsy Maggie the session before! he he he .
๐Ÿ˜Ž
I love them all!
What gets me is the dull disappointing feeling when you hear a tune thats somehow ; wrong’ as you wince and struggle to cover your embarrassment .

Yes and I have to say, a typical, poorly trained violinist thinking they can play ’ a little folk tune ’ and sound great … sigh … are more guilty than most.
Its like playing Bach with a big Vibrato, or a synth in a some Telemann ! totally inappropriate.
Mind you Im probably guilty of playing Bach like a trad fiddler and getting right up the nose of any serious devotee ๐Ÿ™‚ so it goes both ways.


I agree with the above poster, queen of the fair is a lovely tune .
As regards ‘done to death’ well I think I havent heard it in a session for odd 20yrs [ apart from that banjo player starting it off!] , so could It be time for its rehabilitation?

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I messed around with it the other day until it was more or less a single jig. That was fun. There is a good tune in there somewhere, when you don’t pun it to death a la Carl Stalling.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Thank’s all for your comments. I should say I’ve been playing ITM (fiddle) for many years. I’m registered here since 2005 at least. Now I’m at a local music school learning to play violin to improve technical skills. maybe it’s not the tune itself but what it represents. In any case prefer to play thousands of tunes before it. In addition, three violins version does not sound at all. What I seek is some jig "orchestrated" that sounds decent in order to propose an alternative. I mean two o three voices and chords.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

look for pipering regulator work, thats a start, write the arrangement yourself?

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Change your teacher.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

When I was in a choir in high school (remember the 90s? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) we sang diddleys in three or four part harmony — as we were a four section choir — on a jig of some sort. It may have been Morrison’s and something else. Road to Lisdoonvarna? Can’t really remember. Anyway, nothing wrong with doing that. It was good fun. Didn’t sound very "Irish" but who gives a f*ck? It was a high school choir.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

If your teacher wants you to play it, then play it. No biggie.

You will learn something valuable and useful from the experience, even if it’s only "how to get through playing a song you think you hate".

JJ

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I think I’d be right in observing that it’s one of those tunes that teachers/ musicians rooted in the classical genre, think of when there’s a call for something Irish trad. It must somehow be lodged in their consciousness as a standard of some sort. Viewed as such, it just reflects a lack of imagination and effort.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I think I have told this story before.

Along time ago in a dark ages period at our church, the main line musician at the time put together a " St. PAt’s liturgy" at Church. I live in a neighborhood that’s very irish by tradition and has alot of irish wannabes.

There was a young very non-Irish violin player (distinction intentional) who was asked to play "something Irish". He did a very vanilla version of Irish Washer Woman.

There were several older ladies with very heavy broagues who were incensed. They thought it very disrespectful.

Maybe another thread, but I’ve notices that "Little Beggarman" gets almost the same level of disdain.

Maybe just the circle I travel in on that one.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

This Beggarman? https://thesession.org/tunes/566

I quite like that played in Gmix as a hornpipe, bit whimsical maybe but the Fnats make it.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Sorry Jack, what’s wrong with Dargason as "the earliest form of the tune"? Are you saying that the tune is much older, or are you saying that it isn’t related?

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

The Irish Washerwoman - it’s only tune I ever learned entirely based upon a childhood memory. I picked it up from watching Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

I can’t hear any resemblance whatever between Dargason and The Irish Washerwoman except that they’re both in 6/8. Dargason has a powerful double-tonic structure that should have been preserved in any descendant.

I hear a faint resemblance between TIWW and The Stool of Repentance but I wouldn’t put any money on there being a real historical connection.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

TIWW bears a resemblance of The Humours of Ballydehob.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

TWH

That’s the one. I also play it in Gmix as a hornpipe.

It is a nice tune to play. But people don’t use it much and seem to make faces when suggested

Perhaps because it has been done as a ballad song by so many singers and was viewed as somewhat trite from overuse?

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Well, I find that absolutely amazing. As far as I’m concerned, Dargason and TIWW are the same tune. One of them is just prettied up. But only by a tiny amount. There’s hardly any change.

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Like said above, any jig would sound pretty clumsy arranged in three parts. So, swallow your pride and consider it an opportunity to build character. That which does not destroy me makes me stronger, etc, etc… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Ah well Zippydw, I think the answer to that is not to suggest tunes like this - just play them and people will join in and then say ‘oh, haven’t played that in ages .. that was grand’

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Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Great tune. Check out versions by Paddy Fahy, John Doherty, James Byrne….
Not sure about singing it in 3 parts though…

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Whatever you think of the tune, there’s joy to be found in playing it well.
And lo and behold, you may bring to life the fine tune that it is.

Here’s a fine example from Ceolachan’s list - by Liz Doherty, trimmed from a set on her recording, Quare Imagination:

http://tinyurl.com/LizD-IrishW

All the best with your endeavor.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

If I understand you right (your studying classical to help with skills) then you might want to try Celtic Fiddle Tunes for Solo and Ensemble: Violin 1 and 2 / Piano Accompaniment Included. It’s on Amazon. The music is Celtic but with an orchestral/classical arrangement. Not that bad actually but you will want to "liven it up’ a bit. I’m studying classical (1 1/2 years, this is my last month of classical, it’s beginning to get on my nerves) to help my intonation and skills for fiddle and my classical teacher likes to let me play Irish and Scottish music for recitals. Been working on an Irish Washerwoman/Swallowtail Jig set for about a month now.

Re: HELP! My teacher wants us to play Irish washerwoman.

Opps, just saw the last post date. Sorry.